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An AFC team with 10 victories will be shut out of the playoffs. The NFC South champion, meanwhile, not only will make the playoffs with a record of 8-8, 7-8-1 or 7-9, but will host a playoff game.

A fall put Tom Sorensen in the hospital with a concussion. He’s back, and appreciates his doctors and the support of many, including the readers who took time to reach out.

After Sunday’s 38-10 Baltimore Ravens victory over Carolina, former Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith said his former team didn’t deserve any trash talk on the field. He just went about his business.

Among the numbers from the Carolina Panthers’ 38-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens are several that suggest the Panthers can’t run or get to the quarterback. None of them suggest a solution.

Steve Smith’s former team, the Carolina Panthers, plays his current team, the Baltimore Ravens, at 1 p.m. Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. There are games on the schedule players circle and games fans circle. They all circled this one.

No one knows who Carolina is yet, and we might not know for eight more games, until the Panthers reach their bye week.

There are times when, like a driver in the Chase, I’m dialed in. My picks hug the track, handle beautifully in the corners and sail down the straightaways. Alas, I’m not there yet.

Steve Smith played 13 seasons for Carolina. He is the best player in team history. The Panthers released him last spring and he has played three games for Baltimore. He is the best receiver on Baltimore’s roster. Sunday, he plays his former team.

Pittsburgh fans showed up in Charlotte, like they do around the league.

If the Panthers had a theme last season and in the victories against Tampa Bay and Detroit this season, it’s this: Play smart, force turnovers, don’t turn the ball over and be good when you have to be. The Sunday night loss at home, on national TV, to Pittsburgh, was more than uncharacteristic. It was a shock.

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Tom Sorensen
Tom Sorensen has been a columnist at The Observer for about three decades, writing about nearly every sport in the Carolinas.